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Turkey Romance Scams an Alarming Trend in Istanbul

Turkey Romance Scams an Alarming Trend in Istanbul

Let´s start by saying that online romance scamming can happen to anyone, from anywhere, but in this particular case women have to be especially cautious when meeting someone from Turkey. For reasons that are complex and hard to identity, Turkey has seen a sharp increase in internet fraud and scam cases in the last few years. Make no mistake, Turkey is now a high risk country for dating and romance scams, so it’s important to be safe and stay skeptical. Private investigators in Istanbul report a steady increase in cases where foreigners are victims of elaborate scams originating online.

Scammers in Turkey have some advantages in this game. Many Turkish people have the good looks and charm needed to win your heart, and perhaps steal you information, identity and money. The fact is Turkish online profile in social media sites and online dating sites can be attractive and tempting. And, of course not all Turkey citizens are participating in this high income game of scams and fraud. Due to the high risk, investigators urge caution and advise professional background check investigations to properly verify any individual met via the internet who is from or in Turkey.

When meeting people online, detectives in Istanbul say no red flags should ever be ignored. If you feel your new partner is less than forthright about his or her identity or background, don’t ignore it. Know that this is a red flag. If the individual rushes the relationship, and wants to know all about your, and your personal details and life, this is a red flag. If you are asked for any personal data or money, you had better cease all communication or contact a reputable private investigation firm!  Verifying early in the relationship is critical.

American women over their 40´s are now the greatest target for the Turkish conmen. One victim this year sent an astonishing amount of $200,000 to a Turkish conman without even suspecting what was going on. Keep in mind this is just one victim, and 90% of victims worldwide never even report the crime to authorities because they are ashamed or feel police won’t help.

To avoid being a victim, here are some of the things to pay attention to:

Even if the person says he is in the U.S. or U.K. or Canada, be on the alert when you hear the word Turkey. Scammers might not start by saying they are in Turkey, but at some point they need to do it. Why? Because the victim will be sending money to Turkey! So if you´re dating someone who claims to be an American citizen, currently in Turkey doing some work… you better get a dating background check as soon as possible. This person might be legit and honest about his life, but international investigators will verify the facts to make sure you’re safe.

Online scammers use things that are familiar to their victims, like being born in the same town, or going to the same church. This is an old trick to making people feel they can trust this other person because it is someone that shares something with them. But beware! Victims hardly realize they have shared too much information online that contains details that scammers can use, like your old loved hometown or your school or whatever else. A good tip is to be skeptical about the information you share in your online dating profile, as well as any other social media.

Money requests are a big red flag. Even the U.S. embassy in Turkey has an alert on their website about this. Turkish scammers are sophisticated. They won´t just ask for money for nothing as soon as they meet you. They know when and how to do it. Online fraudsters know that trust takes time, and they are willing to spend as much time as needed to make their moves. Male scammers also know that women are more sentimental and are moved by things like widowed men having some kind of hardship with their children, but no matter what is the story they use, all scammers will eventually ask for money or steal it by getting your personal data, account login info, or even blackmailing you.

Scammers don´t always pose as the poor guy. In fact, conmen know that powerful men are more attractive to women. Many of the victims state they had seen pictures of their online date on their yachts or in fancy places. To confuse victims even more, criminals will send victims a nice or expensive gift, so the victim “knows” that they are dealing with a real person who doesn’ t need money! Many say they are professionals working on important projects in Turkey. To make a long story short, the tactics used to gain your trust are endless.

Know your limitations. Consult a professional investigator in Turkey for advice.

Please, don´t believe the internet! Things don´t add up but you have done some research and all his social media profiles match what he says. Anyone can open a Facebook or Linkedin account with whatever information they like. Names and pictures online are no good evidence. And, what if the individual exists because you’ve done your research online? How do you know the criminal you’re communicating with simply hasn’t just assumed a real identity he found online?! If it’s on the internet, chances are you’re not the only one who has seen it, and chances are good that the criminal himself will know exactly what you will find when you search the web to “verify” him.

A rule for online dating is: if it´s too good to be true, then it most likely is. You don´t need to be pessimistic, you just need to be cautious. Stay safe and keep your eyes open to Turkish romance scams! If you’ve met someone online you need verified, contact us!

C. Wright
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